Unique weekend getaways for expats
Bali is expat paradise.
As a digital nomad, as much as we crave a home base we still desire the ability to adventure when our work schedules allow. Bali has become an increasingly popular place for expats as more remote workers realize that it’s the perfect intersection between home and adventure.
Bali is a particularly popular amongst online workers. With dozens upon dozens of atheistic cafes, good wifi and stunning coastline, hundreds of expats are flocking here by the year.
What makes Bali special is the adventure that resides within the island. Expats can take their choice of cafe or co-working space during the week and getaways on the weekend.
Taste the freedom of the expat lifestyle with these unique weekend getaways for expats in Bali.
Swim with the sea turtles in Gili Trawangan
A two hour taxi drive and boat ride away from Canggu is Gili Trawangan, one of the three Gili islands east of Bali. The islands are part of the larger island of Lombok. There aren’t paved roads or motor bikes. The only transport comes in regular bicycles and horse drawn carriages.
There are two sides to Gili T, the more western influenced side and the relaxed beach side. The western influenced coast has upscale hotels, beach front websites and beach bars. There is also a popular night market where you’ll find most backpackers getting a cheap (20,000 IDR) dinner.
On the other side of Gili T is the pure island vibe. Hammocks in the ocean, volleyball nets and Adirondack chairs await you. It takes about twenty minutes to walk from the city center to the this side of the island. The water here is clear and calm with minimal waves.
There are two options to swim with the turtles. The first option is to rent snorkel gear for about 20,000 IDR and walk to turtle point. Here there is a chance to see turtles without a guide, but it may take a bit of patience and a serious curiosity to find them. The second option is to go on a snorkel tour. Most tours will take you to the three Gili islands, starting with the underwater temple in Gili T, swimming with the turtles in Gili Meno and eating lunch on Gili air. Through this tour you’re almost guaranteed to swim with several sea turtles. This tour costs 100,000 IDR.
Climb Mt. Batur For Sunrise
The sun rises at about 7AM which means you’ll start climbing Mt. Batur around 5AM. The hike up is pretty easy and doesn’t take the full two hours. Guides are pretty understanding and allow several breaks along the way, as some parts are fairly steep. There are several look out points once you reach the top. Depending on the tour you’ll stand at different points, which all have an equally great view of the sunset.
Tours cost about 300,000 IDR from Ubud. Since the tour lasts all night, staying one or two nights in Ubud is a good way to be able to relax after such an early morning. There is also accommodation closer to Mt. Batur for those interested in staying the night in the small city.
Find secret beaches in Kuta Lombok
Lombok beaches don’t see half as many tourists as those on the mainland or the Gili islands. There are several secret beaches that visitors can choose from. Lombok is also popular for surfing. Some of the best spots requires a speed boat, spreading out the amount off surfers in one spot. Once you arrive in Kuta Lombok ask hotel or hostel staff where the best beaches are for a specific guide to how to walk and explore along the coast. Chances are you’ll find several, white sand clear water beaches where you are the only person there.
Getting to Lombok will take several hours. Boats leave from the Padangbai Port, the same port that connects to the Gili islands. Trips from Canggu or Ubud cost 300,000 IDR one way. An insider tip is to book a return ticket at the port when you check in. This will give you the biggest chance to haggle down the price as once you’re on the island the prices tend to be higher. You can purchase an open ticket that allows you to choose when you return at a later date. A return ticket can cost you between 300,000 IDR (at the port) or 450,000 IDR (on the island).
With weekend gateways to meet the turtles, climb volcanos and relax by turquoise oceans, Bali is expat heaven. The large cities like Canggu, Ubud, Seminyak or Kuta have tour offices on most of the streets. These offices are where you can book tickets to the Gili islands, Mt. Batur and Lombok. Each office can offer a different price so be aware that, should you wish, the option to haggle is there.
Spend your work week working on your career and expanding your business and your weekend exploring.
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